Saturday, 2 January 2010

Korea lands $40 bil. nuke plant deal from UAE

The President and UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan shake hands at a bilateral summit in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 27.
The President and UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan shake hands at a bilateral summit in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 27. Korea has won a mega order to build four nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates for 40 billion U.S. dollars.
The deal was signed Sunday (Dec. 27) by a consortium led by the Korea Electric Power Corp., or KEPCO, and Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp. The project is the largest foreign order Korea has clinched in its history.
The consortium comprises KEPCO, Hyundai Engineering and Construction, Samsung C&T and Doosan Heavy Engineering of Korea and Westinghouse Electric, a U.S.-based unit of Toshiba Corp. of Japan. It won the deal over the French nuclear group Areva and a consortium of General Electric of the U.S. and Hitachi of Japan.
The signing ceremony was attended by high-ranking officials from both sides, including The President, UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The ceremony took place shortly after the two presidents held a bilateral summit.
According to the deal, the Korean consortium will build four 1,400-megawatt nuclear reactors in the UAE by 2020.
The presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae said Korea has grabbed a chance to export nuclear reactors to an oil-producing country in the Middle East, realizing its dream of becoming an energy-exporting nation.
The office cited as reasons for the successful bid 30 years of experience in the field by Korean companies, price competitiveness, and relatively quick period of construction.
The President’s diplomatic efforts are also seen as having helped the bid. He held six phone conversations with Khalifa to promote the consortium's bid before flying into Abu Dhabi.
Both presidents also expressed satisfaction over growing industrial ties between Korea and the UAE in commerce, energy, construction and plants. They also agreed to upgrade bilateral relations to a "strategic cooperative partnership.”
The President also asked Khalifa to help deepen bilateral ties ahead of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year. He also invited the UAE president to visit Korea next year, to which Khalifa said he will do so soon.

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